To sort out the impasse in clearing biomedical waste

The Association of Private Hospitals in Puducherry on Thursday urged the government to immediately intervene to sort out the impasse in clearing biomedical waste. Addressing a press conference here, president of the association Dr. Nallam said the Puducherry Pollution Control Committee's decision directing the hospitals to enter into an agreement with a private player for collecting garbage was not acceptable to them.

The Committee and other stakeholders such as the Health Department have not consulted the association before fixing the fee which was to be paid by hospitals to the private player for collecting garbage. Terming the fee of Rs. 6.50 for each bed every day as “exorbitant,” he said the association had been urging the government to form a joint committee to discuss issues related to this. However, without consulting the association, the Committee had fixed the fee, he said.

Taking exception to the Committee's direction urging hospitals to enter into an understanding with the private party, Dr. Nallam said government agencies should be party to such an agreement as it would give more credence. “The government cannot wash its hands of the issue,” he said.

The situation was alarming as most of the private hospitals were struggling to dispose of waste following the municipality's decision to collect the garbage. “We have no space to dispose of the waste and most of the hospitals are compelled to keep the biomedical waste on their premises. It can create serious health problems. The government should immediately intervene,” he said.